Standoff in St. Michael ends after 44 hours; suspect shot by law enforcement

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Mia Laube and Krystal Frasier report for KSTP-TV: “Authorities say a standoff with an armed suspect in St. Michael ended Wednesday night after roughly 44 hours. According to the Wright County Sheriff’s Office, law enforcement raided the home of 39-year-old Brandon Gardas around 8:30 p.m. An ‘armed confrontation’ ensued, and Gardas was shot. Gardas was loaded onto a helicopter and airlifted to a hospital nearby. The sheriff’s office did not have an update on his condition. Authorities say no law enforcement personnel were harmed in the operation.”

Amy Forliti writes for the AP: “Federal prosecutors asked a judge on Wednesday to sentence a former Minneapolis officer to 25 years for violating the rights of George Floyd, saying Derek Chauvin’s actions were cold-blooded and needless as he knelt on the Black man’s neck while Floyd repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe. Chauvin pleaded guilty in December to violating Floyd’s rights, admitting for the first time that he kept his knee on Floyd’s neck — even after he became unresponsive — resulting in Floyd’s death. Chauvin, who is white, admitted he willfully deprived Floyd of his right to be free from unreasonable seizure, including unreasonable force by a police officer, during the May 2020 arrest.”

Mary Divine reports in the Pioneer Press: “One of the men charged last year in connection with the fatal shooting of a 14-year-old boy as he left a high school graduation party in Woodbury has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to three years in prison. Jaden L. Townsend, 21, of St. Paul, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Washington County District Court to one count of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon. …Townsend was one of two men charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and various assault charges in connection with the June 5, 2021, killing of Demaris Ekdahl, of Maplewood, in the 6100 block of Edgewood Avenue during a shootout allegedly involving the teen’s stepfather.”

In the Star Tribune, Jenny Berg reports, “The 50-or-so attendees at the Vote Run Lead training ranged from a first-time campaign manager from the far western edge of the state to Minnesota’s second-in-command, Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan. While the gathering was small, the mission is not: The women are part of the Vote Run Lead nonprofit’s mission to flip the Minnesota Legislature to a majority-woman membership in just two election cycles.”

The AP reports: “A former staffer for the Minnesota board that licenses police officers is suing the agency, alleging she was the victim of racial discrimination. Starr Suggs, who had spent 28 years with the Minnesota Peace Officers Standards and Training Board as an administrative specialist, told KSTP-TV the last straw came in February as a crowd gathered outside to protest the police killing of Amir Locke. While the protest remained peaceful, Suggs, the only Black employee among a staff of about a dozen, said she was disturbed by the reaction of her white colleagues and supervisors.

Also for KSTP, Tom Hubbard writes: “The U.S. Attorney for Minnesota has announced a guilty plea from a St. Paul man who attempted to mail drugs to inmates at several Minnesota prisons. Walter Davis pled guilty to several charges including attempted distribution of a controlled substance analog, firearms possession as a felon and fentanyl possession with intent to distribute. A March 2021 investigation by the Department of Corrections on the introduction of narcotics into prisons led authorities back to Davis. Authorities say that in April of 2021 Davis attempted to send letters to inmates containing a synthetic cannabinoid, which was soaked into the paper of news articles.”

For NPR, Lee Strubinger says, “Tuesday, state senators removed South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg from office after he struck and killed pedestrian Joe Boever while driving. After the accident in Sept. 2020, questions arose about Ravnsborg’s conduct including a statement that he didn’t immediately know he hit a person rather than a deer. A police investigation showed that Boever was walking on the shoulder of a highway when Ravnsborg struck him. Throughout police interrogations, Ravnsborg maintained he did not know what he hit until Boever’s body was found the next morning. But investigators told Ravnsborg that Boever’s face went through his windshield. Boever’s glasses were found inside Ravnsborg’s car.”

This from Ben Baker in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Republican lawmakers who control the state Legislature on Wednesday rejected a special legislative session called by Gov. Tony Evers to overturn an 1849 law that would outlaw abortion in the state except when necessary to save the life of the mother. Evers first called Wednesday’s session earlier this month in response to a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion indicating a majority of justices are poised to strike down Roe v. Wade, leaving abortion access laws up to the states. … Evers’ decision to convene the Legislature was met with stiff opposition by conservatives as GOP leadership almost immediately outlined plans to open the session and instantly gavel out, shutting down any debate, and effectively dooming efforts to reverse the state’s 19th-century abortion law.”

Randy Johnson writes in the Star Tribune: “Sunshine, mostly blue skies and 85-degree temperatures delivered a picturesque backdrop on Wednesday at Huntington Bank Stadium, while Gary Hines and the Sounds of Blackness provided the soothing soundtrack for the celebration of life for former Gophers running back Marion Barber III. A gathering of family, friends and fans — some wearing Barber’s No. 21 jersey with the Gophers, others in his No. 24 with the Dallas Cowboys — said goodbye to Barber, who died June 1 at his Frisco, Texas, apartment, nine days shy of his 39th birthday.”

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